Brisbane – my hometown – is in recovery mode following a devastating flood that deluged the town and its surrounds last week. Thousands of people have lost their homes, their possessions, and tragically some have lost their lives. It’s been a taxing time for all. What’s more, the natural disasters haven’t been limited just to this area – flooding, cyclones and torrential rain have all been wreaking havoc up and down the eastern seaboard.
So early in the recovery phase, the community response has been incredible. Thousands of volunteers have thrown themselves into the task of cleaning up the muddy, stinking, devastating post-flood mess; helping in many small and large ways family, friends and strangers. I get a lump in my throat even thinking about it – people’s love, kindness and generosity has been inspiring.
In the aftermath of such a huge event, it’s incredibly important for everyone to remember to look after their health. This means protecting both physical health – when dealing with so much dirt and debris – and mental health – when recovering from the trauma of loss and disaster.
It is likely that the cleanup will continue for weeks and, in some cases, months. It is also likely that many people will experience stress and anxiety – particularly those who were hard-hit by floodwaters – for months after the initial response has subsided.
My message to you is: look after yourselves! It is never too early, nor too late, to ask for help. That’s where I, or someone like me, will be able to help you: to stay physically healthy and infection free, as well as managing any anxiety, worry or post-trauma stress.
Many health agencies are arranging subsidised treatments for the flood-afflicted residents of Brisbane and its surrounds. Even our small naturopathic and acupuncture clinic has instituted treatment packages, which are significantly reduced and in some cases free, for people who have been seriously affected by recent events. Don’t be afraid to make the call, if you feel that you could use some support.
Our surprisingly and wonderfully mobilised community is proof that when it’s needed, we can do an excellent job of looking after one another. Let’s keep it up!